In day-to-day family life, routine obligations can get in the way of simply connecting with your children on a more intrinsic level. Sure, you’re spending time together when you’re delegating chores, disciplining them, enforcing homework, and taking them to and from extracurricular activities, but these are all the usual duties of a parent.
Kids need plenty of loving and positive interactions to feel really connected to you. Try to think of ways to make these interactions happen throughout your day, even if you only get a few in. It will help your children to see you as person rather than just a drill sergeant!
Here are 7 ways to connect with your child today:
- Give her a hug or cuddle first thing in the morning and allow her enough time to wake up gently.
- Talk to your child during breakfast and ask him what his day has in store for him.
- In the evening, spend some time reading together, even if she is reading on her own. Older children still enjoy being read to and also like to discuss their books with Mom and Dad. Listen carefully to her thoughts and findings, and share some of your own.
- Get involved in something he is passionate about or teach him something that you love to do. Sharing an interest is a great feeling and an excellent way to bond.
- Make sure to empathize with your child, even if you don’t agree with what she is feeling. When you acknowledge her point of view, you strengthen your connection and build emotional intelligence.
- Listen kindly to his lengthy story about issues with his friends at recess. Don’t jump to conclusions and try to fix everything. Just listen and be there for him.
- Have alone time with your child, without your spouse or siblings, even if it’s just 15 minutes of playing a game or doing a hobby together. She will appreciate your undivided attention.
On a whole, try to be more aware of your daily exchanges with your children and look for ways to add more time for positive connection beyond simply telling them how and what to do. Get involved in their lives and give them plenty of time to communicate with you. Don’t forget to keep connecting on a deeper level as they grow older, even though it’s easier to let them do their own thing as they become more self-sufficient. As they age, kids don’t need you as much for the basics of life, but they will need you more and more for the new challenges to come.